Department of Commerce Update

Washington Economic Development
Brian Bonlender, Commerce Director
February 2014
Economic Snapshot
Unemployment 6.6%
GDP growth 4th highest in the nation
GBI exceeds pre-recession peak: 6% growth last year
Bloomberg named WA #1 Most Innovative State
Challenges persist…
• Slow recovery
• Underemployment high
• Geographic, pay scale disparities
Accomplishments & Opportunities:
We’re On the Right Track
777x: Team effort, statewide significance
Boat building: Recapitalizing distant fisheries
Global health: WA is among world leaders
Geneva & DC, thanks to Gates, PATH, others
Clean Tech: Job growth 121%, 2x economy as a
ICT Jobs: 4% of workforce = 2x nation &
competitor states; more openings than qualified
Commerce Director Top 3 Goals:
1. Maximize efficiency and operational
effectiveness of the department
2. Better engagement and coordination with
our partners
3. Drive pro-growth policies and initiatives
Grow and improve jobs in Washington State by championing thriving communities,
a prosperous economy, and sustainable infrastructure.
Results Commerce
Economic Development Agenda
Economic Climate
Sector-focused Economic Development
Startup Washington
Workforce Development
Small Business, Rural & Underserved Communities
Economic Climate
• Red Tape Index
• Regulatory Streamlining Pilot Projects:
Restaurant Pilot, Manufacturing Pilot
• Infrastructure: Transportation, protect key
investment funds for Public Works, CERB,
Housing Trust Fund
Sector-focused Economic Development
Alex Pietsch, Office of Aerospace
Agriculture & Food Processing
Clean Technology
Richard Locke (OEDC Director)
Life Sciences | Global Health
Maura Little
Information Communication Technology
Will Saunders
Advanced Manufacturing
Marine Technology
Stephen Sewell
Military and Defense
Kristine Reeves
Additional sectors under consideration
Startup Washington
• Create an environment for startups to flourish
Raise B&O threshold to $50K for all businesses
Support existing R&D tax credits
Promote tradable R&D tax credits
• Explore early-stage financing options
• Expand commercialization efforts/Entrepreneurs
in Residence
• Startup 365/Builds on GEW success
• Crowd-funding up to $1 million (HB2023)
Workforce development
Aligning investment with employer needs
• Work Start – Match education and workforce
training with employer needs
• STEM education
• Partnering to fill gaps – State, business, labor
& education leaders work together to develop
talent pool
Small Business, Rural & Underserved Communities
• Regulatory streamlining
• B&O tax threshold
• Startup 365: Institute for Rural
Entrepreneurship based on GEW success
• Business One-Stop/My Account project
• Sector-focused economic development
• Contracting with MWOB’s through Commerce
• Broadband infrastructure
Gov.’s Budget focuses on Commerce priorities
Developmental Disabilities
Council (indirect costs)
Financial Fraud and
ID Theft Crimes
CERB Support
Local Government
Planning Support
Strategic Growth Expansion
Information Portal
Public Work Trust Fund
Pre-Construction Loan Funds
$10 million
$197,000 (FY 2014)
Housing Trust Fund Ultra-Low
Energy Efficiency
$5 million
$149,000, 1.1 FTE
$982,000, 6.5 FTE
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Start Up Washington 365
Clean Energy and Energy
Freedom Program
Drinking Water State
Revolving Fund Loan Program
Pacific Tower
technical correction
technical correction
$250,000, 0.15 FTE
Regulatory Process
Innovation Contract
$5.3 million
$50,000 threshold
Working with Commerce:
Business Development
• Strategic Growth: Recruitment & Expansion
Proactive company targets in key sectors
International trade shows and missions
FDI emphasis – overseas contracts for lead cultivation
Site selector and real estate consultant engagement
State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)
• Work Start
• Community asset development statewide
• 2013 Results: 27 projects, $252.2 M in capital
investment, 2,140 jobs created
Working with Commerce:
Export Assistance
• Create a Culture of Exporting
• Emphasis on FDI for Foreign Representatives
• Driving Results:
FY 2013 – Commerce assisted 729 companies
1800+ requestS, resulting in $203 Million sales
(annual target = $60 M)
• STEP contributed to record sales, including Export
Voucher program
Congress approved $8 Million for STEP Year 3 (early Jan.)
Only 25% of appropriation compared to Y1 and Y2
Working with Commerce:
Office of Economic Dev. & Competitiveness (OEDC)
• Sector strategies: Commerce & Gov. priority
• Public-private partnerships maximize impact
• 4 of 5 experts on board at Commerce
• Developing sector growth strategies
• Leading collaboration, activities
Sector-focused Economic Development
How it works:
• Close collaboration with Commerce Business
Services Division
• Strengthen ongoing Business Recruitment,
Retention, Expansion and International Trade
• Increased industry engagement = better to
surface sector needs
• Drive policy and strategies for sector growth
Presented by:
Brian Bonlender
Director of Commerce
Twitter: @WaStateCommerce, #ChooseWA

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